With the rapid pace with which technology is evolving, it comes as no surprise that all industries would make use of this digital revolution to bring about massive changes in their plans. This rapid paradigm shift also reached the education industry, which completely changed how teachers, admins, and students perceived education. Two of the most prominent pillars that aid in this problem-solving approach are the learning management system (LMS) and enterprise resource planning (ERP). This article will be about what these constitute and what they bring to the table.
Problems Faced by Teachers Today
Teaching has changed a lot over the years, which was largely shaped by the evolution of educational administration. Education as a whole has gone through several phases of change, all of which came as a result of the proposition and implementation of different educational theories. Along with these changes came a slew of problems that every teacher had to face, irrespective of what they taught and what year they taught. Some of these are discussed below, but they might not be on the entire list. Each teacher might have their own personal unique problems - these are just a compilation of the general problems faced by teachers.
Wearing Different Hats
A teacher is not just a teacher - they are the guiding light of the student through their academic career. They will have to see to the holistic development of the student along with enhancing their academic proficiency. So, a teacher’s professional responsibilities are already quite multifaceted. However, in addition to this, the teacher is also expected to take on the role of manager - that of the classroom. They are expected to maintain the decorum of the class, dole out disciplinary action, enforce due diligence, take attendance of the class every day, and so on. They may also have to do a lot of clerical work if the management says so, hence adding pushing paper to the mix. This is quite a taxing affair and can seem quite strenuous to some teachers.
Paying Attention to Each Student
It goes without saying that the best way to teach someone is by giving them individual attention. However, this is not entirely feasible unless the teacher only has a handful of students to teach. In most cases, this is not the case. The class is seen as a collective and not as a group of individuals in need of assistance. This leads to a problem that can be addressed as measuring weight and time by the same yardstick - it simply feels too vague. Even though teachers do eventually get to bond with some students and help them with their lessons if any extra assistance is required, teachers will not be able to individually tend to each and every student, especially when dealing with a large number of students.
Engagement with the Class
Classes become fun when the teacher engages with the students and bonds with them over the course of the time they spend together. Class engagement is one of the most effective ways to get students to focus in class and keep them hooked to the lesson being taught. This is especially the case when some activity is conducted in the class where the students engage with the course material, prompting a kind of kinesthetic approach to learning that can help a lot of students grasp the concepts better and with more clarity. However, this can be quite the problem when in the classroom as the teacher may not be well versed in this sort of classroom engagement.
Lack of Multiple Modes of Teaching
VARK is one of the most discussed concepts or topics when it comes to education. VARK stands for Visual, Auditory, Reading (and writing), and Kinesthetic. These are learning styles that are postulated to help students learn better. For example, the idea is that showing a picture to a visual learner can have a much more profound effect than someone who prefers learning via experiments or hands-on experience. The idea is that different types of learners have preferences that can enhance their learning experience. However, the truth is that the best learning style is to combine all the above. This is not exactly feasible when the main mode of teaching is just plain lecturing in front of a blackboard or whiteboard. One teacher will not be able to make use of all 4 teaching styles to get every student on board - there will inevitably be a few who will get left behind.
Wastage of Paper
This is another problem that can have negative effects with disastrous consequences. Whenever an assignment is given, or when an exam is conducted, everything from the question paper being set to the printing and distribution of answer papers in mass post correction involves an enormous amount of paper. Paper is made from trees, so one does not have to do a lot of mental gymnastics to come to the conclusion that this can have a grave impact on the environment. In addition, teachers may also find it difficult to go through a lot of paperwork to find the answer that the student has written. It is no stretch of the imagination that students try to make their answers look more lengthy and profound by adding vague points in between that do not exactly have much relevance in the context of the answer. This becomes strenuous for the teacher as they have to go through the entirety of the answer to find the relevant information.
Making Students Meet Deadlines
Students can either forget that they have been assigned a certain homework or test or simply slack off due to laziness. This can be a cause of irritation for the teacher as they not only have to create the test after referring to `several books but also have to keep reminding the students that the assessment is due at the end of the given deadline. The fear of penalization of the students if the submission is not made on time does motivate them to a certain extent, but even then, it can sometimes not have a great effect on them.
All of these issues can be resolved by the extensive suite of features that Teachmint offers. Read on to find out how it can be done with the help of a learning management system (LMS) and a school Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system.
What is LMS?
LMS stands for learning management system and can be defined as a software solution that is designed to aid and manage efficient learning. It can be considered a complete teaching and learning solution for teachers and students. Teachers can use the LMS to upload the course content, while students will be able to access the uploaded content through their profiles. The learning management system supports recorded sessions and live learning. In addition, it facilitates communication, maintains student data, and tracks the progress of every student. The learning management system, therefore, assists everyone associated with the education industry.
Constituent Components of LMS
The learning management system helps teachers and students teach and learn in a unique hybrid environment that can be used in the context of both online as well as offline learning. Given below are some of the major constituent components of a typical LMS:
- Live Classes
- Live Class Recording
- Homework creation and tracking
- Study material sharing
- Classroom and private chat options
- An online notice board for instant updates and announcements
How LMS can Help Teachers
Now that there is a reasonable understanding of what LMS is in education, you may want to know about how it serves teachers and students. It is essential for everyone who wants to digitize their schools, colleges, and universities. Here are some of the advantages of using an LMS for educational purposes.
LMS offers flexibility in learning by providing continuous access to course materials at any time. Furthermore, they can also do the same from their mobile devices. Because of this, teachers do not have to create separate content specifically for virtual classrooms. Because of the flexibility, students can also learn about different topics at their own convenience. Whether students want to look up content to learn something new or revisit old content, students can do that anytime and from anywhere.
In addition, the LMS also helps in recording live classes which can be played later on by the students according to their convenience. This adds a great deal of student autonomy to their learning experience which gives them confidence in their own learning mechanism as well as realizing the learning style that works best for them.
LMS offers educators the opportunity to create and upload content in various different formats. Hence, they can make the classroom more interactive. Teachers can provide valuable learning to students using multimedia sources. Moreover, they can help online course creators source learning materials from various education portals. If the teacher feels that the lectures may be getting monotonous, which runs the risk of bringing down the performance of the students, that would be. LMS maintains an interactive and fun environment in the classroom and enhances classroom learning. Moreover, it ensures that every student has equal and updated access to course material. Students can access the course materials at their convenience to learn at their pace.
With a robust LMS in place, teachers can develop a holistic assessment system to grade their students. LMS makes grading easier as it automates the process. Teachers can create and schedule quizzes and tests using LMS. Moreover, teachers and school administrators can track student progress based on the completion of course material. LMS also organizes complex data and stores it in one place. As a result, it helps teachers to develop a straightforward approach to tracking student progress. Teachmint also has a dedicated assessments section that is exclusively for the purpose of creating and conducting formative assessments instantly.
In addition to providing teachers with the assessment feature, it also provides feedback features to students so that students can give feedback to teachers on a regular basis regarding the course content as well as their teaching methodology.
Schools and other educational institutions make use of LMS to improve their efficiency and schedule. It has features such as calendars, student forums, and communication channels that aid in the general learning process and even enhance it. LMS is also beneficial for individual course creators as they can use it to share and market their courses on social media platforms. Teachmint offers the entire suite of tools and features that are required for this purpose. Moreover, they can add more students to their course as all the lectures, notes, and other learning materials are available on the same platform.
Track Student Progress Effectively
As mentioned above, teachers can share assignments and set deadlines for the assigned tasks with the help of LMS. This helps teachers track submissions and provide assistance to weaker students whenever they require it. If students delay submission, teachers can track them as well and hold them accountable. This helps teachers track the progress of each student on an individual basis and assist, reprimand, and congratulate them as the teacher seems fit.
LMS can also help schools cut short a lot of expenses. A huge sum of money is often spent on printing and distributing course materials in schools and colleges which not only affects the environment but also leads to the wastage of paper. An LMS, by its very nature, helps in reducing this cost and acts as an environmentally-friendly option to traditional paper-based learning resources.
LMS is a software solution that has a lot of unique features that make it accessible and available to anyone and everyone. It can be used both online as well as in the traditional classroom for face-to-face learning. The recent changes in the education system have made LMS the need of the hour for educational institutions. LMS aids in the learning process in a very unique way and each school needs to invest in this school management portal as soon as possible to cope with this rapid integration of technology in the modern education landscape. Now that there is clarity on the part of the LMS, let us move on to the second part of the article, ERP and its uses for teachers.
What is ERP
ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. Even though it may sound like typical corporate jargon, its application in the education space is actually quite innocuous. ERP is a tool that helps make management easier, affordable and efficient. It aids in the administrative process and makes it transparent and much faster than using traditional management tools and methods. When it comes to educational institutions, effective management is a key element in its day-to-day operations, prompting smooth communication and efficiency across all levels. A robust ERP is therefore quite effective in managing students and making the process easy and simple for all.
The Constituent Elements of ERP
To get a clearer idea of what an ERP system is, here are some of the constituent elements of a typical ERP system -
- Fee Management Software
- Attendance Management System
- Student Information System
- Hostel Management Software
- Admission Management Software
- Performance Management
- Library Management
- Certificate Generation
How School ERP can Help Teachers
Just like LMS, school ERP software can also help teachers make their day-to-day activities simpler and easier to manage. Here are some of the ways in which a school ERP can help teachers:
Optimizes Class Time
The classroom is the sanctum sanctorum of a student in their educational career, and time spent in the classroom should ideally be for teaching and learning alone. Given that the average human attention span is around 20 minutes, it can be quite conclusively said that every second in the classroom matters. However, teachers often lose a lot of time taking care of managerial tasks they are supposed to, such as roll call, maintaining discipline, classroom engagement activities, and so on, while also somehow monkey balancing teaching the entire bulk of the syllabus. This often becomes strenuous on the part of the teacher and they end up taking extra classes because of this. With an ERP system, however, the managerial role of the teacher in the classroom does not exist anymore because it will be taken care of automatically. This will give the teacher complete control over the amount of time available to them which they can utilize to their fullest potential as they see fit.
The productivity of a teacher within the classroom is directly linked to the amount of time they get to reach out to and interact with the students. The better the relationship between the student and the classroom, the better will be their interaction with one another and subsequently their collective productivity. With an efficient ERP software solution, this productivity can be quantified with the help of various measurable criteria such as the ones that are measured in the performance management system. This gives the teacher a fair idea about where they are with respect to the class, and what they can do to improve the students’ classroom experience.
The lesser the amount of work a teacher has to do, the more they can utilize their time to educate their students. The ERP system takes a lot of work off the teacher’s plate, hence leaving them with more time to explore various teaching methods and styles and find which works best with each class that they handle. For example, the majority of a particular class A may be kinesthetic learners while class B students might have visual learners in greater numbers. The teacher will need to understand the pulse of the class and try out different teaching styles for the teacher to understand this, which requires patience and time, both of which can be challenging without the managerial tasks of the teacher being taken over by the ERP.
Each student is unique in their own way, and the general consensus is that the best way to teach a student is to understand them on a personal level and teach them accordingly. However, this hardly ever happens because of the number of students in the class nowadays. While an ERP cannot make this completely possible, it is lightyears ahead when compared to traditional classroom ergonomics. It allows the teacher to make use of the tools offered by the ERP and critically analyze each student’s performance with respect to time and understand what is going wrong. This level of personalization is achievable with traditional methods, but the amount of effort that would be required to do it for each individual student would be so much that it would not be worth it.
Better Informed PTA Meeting Sessions
PTA meetings can be made much more informative with the help of ERP tools. Since all the information is available to the teacher at all times, it becomes easier for them to give the parents a detailed account of the student’s performance both in class as well as their overall academic performance all year round.
Absence of Human Error
Since ERP tools automate the whole process of classroom management, the scope of human error basically comes down to zero. This is extremely important in terms of management because it can severely affect the way in which the teacher analyzes the students. The better the analysis that the teacher makes, the better they will be able to help the student or students.
ERP and LMS are two of the most instrumental tools that teachers need in today’s generation, as they will invariably help them in achieving unparalleled levels of engagement in the class. It goes without saying that technology when used in the right way can elevate anything, and the act of teaching is no less susceptible to it. The better the relationship of the teacher with the class, the better the students will reciprocate, which can eventually culminate in a better understanding of the concepts being taught. This can transition either into better performance in the form of grades or increase their natural thirst for knowledge by igniting within them a passion to know more, not just for the syllabus but also for themselves on an individual level.